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For Vick, Facing Atlanta Still Special

Posted Oct 24, 2012

It would be easy to understand if the novelty has worn off.

Quarterback Michael Vick will square off against his former team on Sunday for the third time since joining the Eagles in 2009. In fact, it would have been a fourth time if he didn't miss their battle in 2010 with an injury.

Vick had his breakout game of 2009 scoring his first two touchdowns as an Eagle - one passing, one rushing - in a rout at Atlanta. Last season, Vick returned to Atlanta for the first time as a starting quarterback and rallied to give the Eagles a three-point lead before exiting in the third quarter with a concussion. The Eagles lost the game, 35-31.

Still, this Sunday Vick and the Eagles host the NFL's last undefeated team in the Atlanta Falcons. And the chance to beat the team he played six seasons with is still "exciting" to Vick.

"It’s going to be a great matchup," Vick said. "It’s good for us. It’s a good challenge and, you know, we’ve got to come out and just play good football at the end of the day. Just protect the football, put points on the board, defense (has) got to get stops, get turnovers and special teams has got to play their part. We do that, that’s a recipe for a win."

Vick understands that the Eagles have to reduce the team's turnover total. He has 13 turnovers - five fumbles, eight interceptions - this season. Vick was honest in his assessment of the turnover situation. It doesn't matter what lip service is paid to it. The Eagles have to get the job done on gameday.

"We’ve just got to wait and see. I can sit here at my locker and say, ‘We’re going to do it. We’re going to get it done.’ It has to happen on Sundays," Vick said. "That’s it. Bottom line."

The Falcons are very good at taking away the ball, as they rank fourth in the league in generating turnovers with 17. The Falcons have a new defensive coordinator this season in Mike Nolan, whom Vick and the Eagles are familiar with. Just last season, Vick had a watershed moment against Nolan's previous team in the Miami Dolphins.

In his first game after missing three due to injury, Vick didn't post any flashy stats. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 208 yards for a touchdown and an interception in a 26-10 win over the Dolphins. Here's another interesting stat. He had just two rushes for 9 yards. That was the first of the four straight wins to end the season. Vick had his lowest rushing totals over a four-game span in his career. In the final three games, he had a passer rating of 100 or more for the first such three-game streak as a starter in his career.

Needless to say, Vick has been looking at that film from last season's Miami game.

"I’ve watched it twice already, probably watch it two or three more times," Vick said. "I don’t know if I’m going to get the same looks, if everything’s going to be exactly what they showed last year, but you’ve just got to be ready for everything."

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